Jerky is the convenient process of trimming lean meat of its fat, cutting it into strips then drying it in order to prevent spoilage. Most people usually add salt and spices to the mix, which prevent bacteria from developing on the meat and helps with preventing the meat from spoiling. Once the meat is all prepared and set up, you leave it outside so that it dries naturally thanks to the sun and the wind, and then you smoke it, which further prolongs its shelf-life.
Jerky can be made using any kind of meat, from chicken, pork, beef, seafood and even the meat of wild game. It is highly recommended to use lean meat to make jerky, but you can always use ground meat to avoid slicing whole meat into strips.
In fact, ground meat is a great choice because for making jerky, simply because it accepts curing components and ingredients and seasonings and can be loaded into the barrel of a jerky gun rather quickly. In addition, you can use a Food Dehydrator to make your jerky instead of sun-drying. I bet all that left you thinking about your Meat Grinders, Meat Injector Kits, Meat Slicers, and Meat Tenderizers.
Having a good jerky gun is an important thing in the overall process of jerky making at home. It’s the equivalent of a Whipped Cream Dispenser, an Olive Oil Dispenser, or a Beverage Dispenser, but for jerky, which shows how comfortable your life would be using one. A jerky gun is made up of a barrel, which is the part you fill with the cured, seasoned meat, and a nozzle, through which the meat squeezes out once you press the gun’s trigger.
Creating jerky without the use of a jerky gun is doable, yes, but in time you’ll come to the realization that the jerky gun just makes the entire process somewhat effortless and quicker than ever. It also helps produce a perfectly shaped final product that’ll serve you for days. It is indeed an excellent way to provide yourself with comfort food that’ll be handy at any needed time, plus, the jerky itself is nutritious and highly economical.
As it is the case with most kitchen tools, having a reliable and robust jerky gun will prove useful down the road, and act like a worthy investment. So, if you’re planning on going to the market to shop for a jerky gun, you might want to keep these important points that we’re about to discuss in mind. Because they’ll probably increase the chances of you stumbling on the perfect match for you.
Now that you’re all set and ready, we’re going to suggest you what we think are the best 5 jerky guns currently available in the market and include both the pros and cons of using each.
Jerky Gun Review Center 2020
|#1 - THE JUDGE: Beef Jerky Gun 2.7lb Capacity Pistol Maker||99%|
|#2 - LEM Products 468 Jerky Cannon||94%|
|#3 - Weston Original Jerky Gun Jr||89%|
|#4 - Sportsman MJG15 15-Inch Jerky Gun||85%|
|#5 - Nesco BJX-5 Jumbo Jerky Works Kit||81%|
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Now that you’ve seen our top 5 recommendations, we’ll give you more detail on each of them, including why we liked them. When you’re ready, click the yellow button to get the best price on Amazon!
#1 – THE JUDGE: Beef Jerky Gun 2.7lb Capacity Pistol Maker
As the name already suggests, the judge is definitely judging every other jerky gun out there the moment you use it. This jerky gun managed to establish an impressive online following, especially on Amazon. It’s famous for its durability, enormous capacity, and its ergonomic design.
The gun is made of the famously robust and long-lasting anodized aluminum, in other words, the Judge’s barrel can withstand a load of pressure even during long sessions. Anodized aluminum is also corrosion and rust proof, which makes cleaning the gun with water a safe procedure and is one of the main reasons why the gun has a pretty long lifespan.
All of these features come at a price that might be high for some, but you have to realize that it’s a very worthy investment.
Moving on to the enormous capacity of the gun, 2.7lbs of meat at once to be precise. This capacity is great for the times where you have to pump out a large quantity of jerky without the need to hustle with the gun reloads.
The Judge’s package includes two nozzles, one for flat, thin strips and one for rounded, long strips. Besides, you’ll get a long brush that’ll prove its worth every time you get around to cleaning the gun and leaving it on your Dish Drying Rack.
What we like about it
The gun has many pros and almost no cons, more precisely, it features a superb capacity, two attachments, and it comes with a money-back guarantee in case you don’t like the product. The only con to using this product is the fact that the barrel may slip if you apply much pressure for a long time, but this can be avoided with proper handling.
#2 – LEM Products Jerky Cannon
LEM Products, a well-establish and known company that produces a variety of kitchen appliances and meat-preparing tools, offers you their take on jerky-making, the LEM Products Jerky Cannon.
This cannon comes with a mediocre 1.5-pound capacity which is obviously less than the previously discussed ‘’Judge”. To compensate for that, note that LEM Jerky Cannon’s quality is on another level, most prominently, the barrel which is made of anodized aluminum which equals both longevity and durability.
Like the Judge, the LEM Cannon comes with two nozzles made from stainless steel, giving you the choice between producing thin flat stripes or rounded, long jerkies.
One unique feature to this jerky gun is the way its impressive squeezing mechanism works, as it has a plastic piston that pushes all the meat to the nozzle, this may seem as an obvious function, but due to the way it’s manufactured, it demands little to no effort to produce a strip of jerky. This mechanism compensates for the gun’s rather moderate capacity and makes the entire process of producing jerky a lot easier and quicker.
Finally, the gun can be disassembled easily. Also, most of its parts are dishwasher friendly. Like its competitor, the gun arrives with a long brush inside the package, for convenient cleaning of the gun’s barrel, and two seasoning bags so you can instantly start making jerky if you have the meat.
What we like about it
Once again, like it’s competitor, the judge, the LEM Cannon comes with a number of pros and a single con. The advantages include its anodized aluminum sturdy construction, it’s above average 1.5-pound capacity and the ability to disassemble it easily and clean in a dishwasher. It’s one and only con, however, is that the barrel may get slippery when it’s wet.
#3 – Weston Original Jerky Gun
Yet another contender with the previous two, the Weston Original jerky gun has a durable plastic body with an aluminum barrel that can hold up to 1.5 pounds of meat. Although the gun is primarily made of plastic, the quality of the former is excellent, which translates to an overall sturdy and solid body. The gun’s trigger doesn’t require much pressure, which makes it rather easy to use for both newbies and advanced jerky-makers.
The gun’s package features seasoning, a sausage pipe, two nozzles, a stomper and a cleaning set. This full package gives you the ability to make jerky while camping or hiking, and the stomper eliminates the problem of meat stacking in the gun’s barrel.
What we like about it
To sum it up, the gun has a high-quality, durable plastic body, and genuinely operates smoothly, allowing for fast jerky-making. And most of the gun’s parts are dishwasher friendly.
However, the plastic parts, although durable and of high-quality, aren’t as reliable or durable as aluminum and stainless steel. In addition, the cleaning brush that comes in the package fails to clean the barrel properly most of the time.
If you can turn a blind eye at those insignificant drawbacks, you’ve got yourself a clear winner.
#4 – Sportsman MJG15 15-Inch Jerky Gun
Boasting a 15-inch specialized plastic, high-quality barrel, Sportsman’s MJG15 Jerky gun is a durable and reliable gun that can produce jerkies as quickly as its competitors and even faster at times.
While the tube is plastic-based, in contrary to the high-quality aluminum that was used for the handle and frame of the gun, it offers a robust and sturdy experience and can handle a lot of pressure.
It’s huge capacity with its 15-inch tube mean that you can produce a lot of jerky without the need for constant refilling, which means that the job will be done rather quickly.
This jerky gun is simply very reliable and durable, and it’s a great choice for newbies and experts alike.
What we like about it
Pros wise, the most prominent out of the bunch is the gun’s 15-inch barrel which translates to an enormous capacity. Moreover, the gun is very simple to operate and handle, and it doesn’t require a lot of pressure to pump out some jerky. Finally, the gun’s stainless steel handle and frame are always something to welcome.
#5 – NESCO BJX-5 Jumbo Jerky Works Kit
If you’re seeking a jerky gun that enables you to produce several jerkies at a quicker pace, look no further than the Nesco Jumbo Jerky gun. The selling point of this gun in comparison to the previous four is its lower price, which makes it a perfect candidate for people who are new to jerky-making.
It can hold up to a pound of meat inside its transparently clean plastic tube, which is always a welcome plus simply because it allows you to check the quantity of meat that you still have in the barrel without having to open the entire thing.
For extra flexibility and choice, the gun comes with three different nozzle attachments, to produce sticks, strips or double strips. Also, the jerky gun’s box includes spices and cure packs for flavor as well so that you can start experimenting with jerky-making the moment you purchase the gun.
What we like about it
For the pros, the gun is easy to use for newbies, and its clear barrel allows you to constantly check for the quantity of meat that you still have left in the gun.
The only downside to using this gun is that sometimes, the meat gets stuck in the tube, but that can be avoided should you apply enough pressure and clean the barrel properly.
What to Look for When Buying a Jerky Gun
Although jerky guns come in different sizes and shapes, most of them hold at least one pound of ground meat, and there are some that can carry as much as 2 to 3 pounds. It all comes down to personal preference, you’ll need to consider how much jerky you might want to produce in the future, the number depends on a lot of factors including how many family members you have.
For one, having a jerky gun with a large capacity is an excellent choice if you happen to be someone who loves consuming jerky. It’s also a great product if, as mentioned before, you’re simply feeding a large number of people with you. Having one with a large capacity, and being able to fill its barrel with more meat minimizes the number of times you’ll have to reload it, thus making the entire process easier and allowing you to fill your Dinnerware Set quicker.
However, having a jerky gun with a somewhat small capacity would be a better choice if you happen to be making jerky for just a few people, simply because, having a lower capacity makes the gun way easier to carry and store.
The Construction of the Gun
Again, like most of the tools you use in your kitchen, jerky guns come in different materials. Most are either made of aluminum, stainless steel, or plastic, and some even come rocking all these 3 materials in one body.
Jerky guns are pressure based, which means having a sturdy and well-constructed gun is an essential thing. A poorly-made jerky gun could fall apart even under slight pressure from you when trying to get the jerky made.
Although aluminum and stainless-steel guns are pricier than their plastic counterparts, their construction indeed is the most durable. It’s time to add a new appliance to your Stainless Steel Cookware Sets.
On the other hand, some jerky gun models come with a clear plastic tube which is an advantage as it allows you to see how much do you have in the shaft instantly, but as explained above, they aren’t that durable.
To cut this short, if you personally think that you’re going to be using your jerky gun for an extended period of time, consider buying a durable one. But if you’re new to jerky-making and you just want to try it and see then maybe buying a cheap plastic jerky gun then upgrading, later on, is a better move.
If you were wondering what the nozzle meant when we mentioned it before, well, it’s what you attach to the outlet, it helps you decide both the form and the size of the jerkies that you desire.
In most cases, jerky guns come with two nozzles in the box: one to produce a thin, flat kind of jerky and another to create thick, long, rounded strips.
When buying a jerky gun, check the box for the type and number of attachments that it comes with to ensure yourself some sort of flexibility when using it.
Some manufacturers even go as far as selling some seasoning and curing ingredients alongside their products, and cleaning kits. And if you’re new to the jerky-making business, these packages can prove rather useful because they allow you to start making jerky instantly.
Homemade jerky is delicious, and if you want it to be like that every time, you probably should consider investing in a jerky gun.
But like most kitchen products, different models of jerky guns differ in many ways, from the capacity to the material, from attachments to the packaging, each for its own. But if we were to choose from the list of 5 jerky guns above, we’d pick The Judge, for multiple reasons, including its incredibly large capacity, its ergonomic & robust design and all the attachments that it comes with. Simply put, it’s the best product in this category if you’re having a family dinner where every Dining Chair is occupied.
But at the end of the day, the final choice is all yours to make, but just make sure to keep the points that we mentioned earlier in mind when shopping for one, and happy jerky making! Just remember to get a Beer Glass, a Champagne Glass, or even one a homemade fresh juice made using your Juicer for a better family dinner!